Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Edward Warren - First American Aviator

According to Aviation Wings, "“With the steady fortitude of an old voyager,” 13 year old Edward Warren acknowledged the crowd below with a “significant wave of his hat.”   Attached to a tether, Warren flew upward on the first “American Aerostatick Balloon” before a “a numerous and respectable Congress of People.”  After the flight, Warren disappeared into obscurity." Suzy Northcutt, upon reading the story remarked, "Ha! I’ve raised teenagers. I know exactly what happened to Edward Warren. He’s STILL grounded!"

Warren is considered the first American Aviator. The man behind the balloon is Peter Carnes. According to Famous Daily, "Peter Carnes, a lawyer and tavern keeper from Bladensburg, Maryland, read the storied reports of the Montgolfier’s experiments with hot-air flight. Carnes was inspired to recreate the experiment himself, and announced in the local papers he would launch his own balloon."

  According to the Washington Post:
200 years ago Peter Carnes tried to be the second American to fly in a balloon for a paid audience. The spectators in the Philadelphia commons watched in awe as the 200-pound man rose about 20 feet. But a shift of wind pushed his ingenious machine into a wall, breaking the chains and dropping him to the ground.

Many in the crowd had not seen Carnes fall, and so were horrified when the balloon, which had continued to climb more than a mile, caught fire. They assumed that the pieces of platform and furnace that dropped from the sky were Carnes' body. 

As it turned out, Carnes landed unhurt in a prison yard and chose to end his ballooning career with that spectacular July 1784 episode.

Peter Carnes, inventor, risk taker, researcher, would have been quite at home at SANS Rocky Mountain 2017, where the storied faculty have many of the same traits. Stephen Northcutt is Director, Academic Advising for SANS.EDU, an accredited cybersecurity graduate school.

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